Imagine a quiet farm near Potwin, Kansas, practically in the geographic center of the United States and inside it lives two quite elderly people, James and Theresa Arnold, who like to eat with their friends, receive the visits of their relatives and spend time together in the quiet area that surrounds their home.
However, their home (where they live for rent since 2011) has a terrible secret: it is the epicenter of more than 600 million IP addresses, or as these elders have called the BBC “a digital hell.” Obviously, James and Theresa are not Internet addicts; it’s all about the recklessness of a company – MaxMind – that chose this position as the default point for IP addresses that could not be specified in more detail within the US.
Faced with this situation, his home has been for years as a source of spammers and scammers online, even from police investigations series. On one occasion, the Butler County Sheriff’s Department entered the house in search of a stolen truck that was associated with an IP located in his home.
But it is not the only thorny issue that has been linked to the IPs in Potwin: from investigations for computer fraud or child pornography to calls for suicides have had to endure the two elders.
Without the threats that some individuals – who had been cheated by those IPs – poured against James and Theresa in considering them responsible for their misfortunes. A public derision that would have caused them problems also with their neighbors and the community.
Claim $ 75,000
After years of being confused with spammers, pedophiles or scammers, the Arnold has decided to take action. They have hired a lawyer and sued MaxMind for “reckless and negligent conduct” causing “great emotional distress, fear of their safety and public humiliation.” They demand the immediate change of all IP addresses to another position and a payment of $ 75,000 for damages caused to their image and honor.
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